With technology constantly evolving, we’re seeing more and more handsets and gadgets being churned out. In many countries there are now more mobile phones than people. When we get a new phone, most commonly through an upgrade, often our old phone works just fine – it may just look a little unloved! So, how do we break the loop?
So many used phones end up in landfill, leaking radiation and damaging the environment. Instead, let’s give our old handset a new lease of life and help the planet while we’re at it! Read on to learn how.
There are several official mobile phone recycling companies with drop-off points around the country. Please don’t be fooled into thinking you can just pop your used phone into your household recycling – your handset will just end up in landfill this way. Phones, like batteries, need to be sent to a specific recycling unit. And if you haven’t seen these drop-off points in your neighbourhood then don’t fret – most companies will pay for postage if you send your handset to them, as a thanks for your good deed.
You’ve had some fun times with your phone and you’ve been through a lot together. Pass on the love by finding it a new home, better yet with someone who may not otherwise be able to purchase a handset themselves. We could all do with a little more philanthropy in the world, so donate your best tech mate to a charity or organisation, as long as it works well enough to have a new lease of life with a new owner.
Or, you could even pass it on to that friend who’s always in some stage of the bad-luck loop when it comes to phones (dropping it down the toilet, leaving it on the train – we all have one!). Just be sure you wipe any personal information and accounts off the phone to ensure your data is protected – it’s always best to restore it to factory settings.
Your phone may well still be in excellent working order and you’ve just received an upgrade or taken out a new mobile phone deal. If so, you could return your old phone to your manufacturer through your network provider, so that they can refurbish it and sell it on. Okay, maybe we feel less inclined to be generous to the big corps, but perhaps you’ll earn brownie points with your provider, or even a discount on a new handset. Plus, more and more people are seeing the value in buying refurbished phones when other options are too costly, so you’re helping them out too.
This is one for the upcyclers. Many of us get new phones because we want the better functions offered by it – the improved camera, the unlimited storage etc. But have a think about your old phone’s strengths – what is, in truth, still absolutely fine about it? You can re-use your phone yourself in so many exciting and cost-effective ways.
Consider freeing up the storage on your old device and turning your handset into, well, whatever you want to! You could load it up with audiobooks or movies – all the stuff that you love to gorge on with no fear of the ‘storage almost full’ notification. Or perhaps you’re a keen gamer and turning your handset into a gaming device is the dream option for you. You can even buy controllers and it’ll be just like your favourite console.
Or you could buy a SIM-only contract with a huge data allowance so that you always have an emergency hotspot. This can be especially useful when travelling in other countries, but purchase a local SIM on that country’s network instead of facing potentially huge data charges when on the go. Plus, with many SIM-only deals offering consumers the rollover data option, it doesn’t matter if you only use it infrequently – it’s just safety WiFi.
Help the environment. Be charitable. Save money. Why would you not do something new with your old mobile phone?